Self-driving cars ‘face pothole dangers’

Self-driving cars ‘face pothole dangers’
More action to repair potholes may be needed once driverless cars hit the UK’s roads, new research has indicated.

Commissioned by the RAC Foundation, the study suggests that higher standards of road maintenance will be needed if and when autonomous vehicles become the norm.

Potholes could prove dangerous on roads which carry a lot of self-driving vehicles, the organisation said.

Conducted by consultancy group CAS, the report also highlighted the importance of maintaining road markings and signs.

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Commenting on the latest findings, RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said people generally don’t have any tolerance for safety failings when being driven by public transport operators.

With regards driverless cars, he said: “Getting the road infrastructure right is integral to ensuring an all-round safe system.”

Earlier this week, people were given the chance to test an autonomous vehicle during a trial near the O2 Arena in London. The pilot scheme marked the first time that the public have been able to test driverless cars.

Over the coming few weeks, around 100 people will be able to use the prototype car on a two-mile route.

Speaking to the Press Association news agency, Graeme Smith, chief executive of Oxbotica, which is developing the electric vehicles, said: “This needs to be like any other form of transportation. It shouldn't be a white-knuckle ride for passengers.”

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Interest in self-driving vehicles appears to be growing, with the Government also recently suggesting it will invest £100 million to test autonomous driving technology.

Testing centres in Birmingham, Coventry, Oxford, Milton Keynes and London will be used to assess the vehicles and the infrastructure they require.

Recent data published by the Asphalt Industry Alliance has indicated that more than £12 billion of funding is now required to help local authorities bring the road network up to a decent condition.

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.